End Of The Night

HOW MUCH?! For that piece of...?

Actually, I can poke fun at the above painting because I did it. It’s hanging in our kitchen.

The Gallery Art has been emptied of everything and has received a new coat of white paint. I didn’t recognize the place when I walked through the door for the grand reopening. A man somewhere in his fifties and a woman probably in her seventies sat on a pair of armchairs along the right wall, and another man, younger and whom I recognized as the owner, sat on a black leather couch placed against the rear wall.

‘Welcome!’ the man said, smiling broadly. ‘Come in, help yourself to a glass of wine, some snacks.’

‘Thanks,’ I said, ‘I think I will.’

Two couples entered behind me, and there were a lot of exclamations, handshakes and hugs. It gave me a chance to look around.

On a table to my right were two bottles of wine, cheese and crackers on a plate, and several plastic platters of fruit and vegetables. Another table, next to the armchairs, held a diminutive stereo and an opened guest book.

Lining both walls and running the length of the room, evenly spaced and all of equal size were twelve or fifteen photographs. They looked to be about twelve by sixteen inches or so in size.

There were prints of sun caressed prairie grasses, rocky outcroppings, tree surrounded bodies of water, and shadowy interiors of dilapidated barns shot through with shafts of light.

Each had a little card beneath it with its title and the asking price, which as  far as I could see ranged from $800 to $1000. I gave a silent gasp, and scanning the room wondered if anyone there looked as if they’d shell out a grand for a modest sized print, no matter how well done. No, I thought, can’t see that.

After a few glasses of wine and some pleasant chit-chat about the role of the artist and art and how the public had to be taught to appreciate its  wonders and benefits I said my thank yous and left.

Three doors down at The Pub, the usual dozen or so patrons milled around the bar. Nodding greetings to several, I found a place and ordered a pint of draft.

Football was on the lone television and next to me two men were energetically rooting on their Roughriders.

One pint was enough on top of two or three glasses of wine. When it was done I paid with the last ten dollar bill in my wallet and headed for home.